Kill Team: Into the Dark is just the beginning of a new 40K narrative

Kill Team: Into the Dark is just the beginning of a new 40K narrative ...

The small-unit skirmish game Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team is in an excellent position right now, thanks to a speedy and fluid gameplay that it retained at the beginning. It's unfortunate that every major expansion is followed by one that's a little shit.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Into the Dark is more Wrath of Khan than Search for Spock. Every detail inside this box, including the terrain, is brand new. It even includes a faction that has never been seen in three dimensions before. It's also the first of a year-long series of Kill Team releases that should restore one of the franchise's most iconic locations, the space hulk.

Note that I did not write Space Hulk, the classic 1989 board game that pits Space Marine Terminators against Tyranid Genestealers. These vast bodies of dust are seen at random throughout the 40K universe, but also host all manner of fallen creatures, including Chaos Space Marines, Asuryani Eldar, and others.

The terrain on Into the Dark is made from chunky gray polystyrene. Each wall section is studded with skulls, naturally, but also with computer screens, cables, and other grimdark industrial nick-nacks. Each of the 16 wall sections is pre-weathered, with dings, dents, and gouges already molded into the surface. It's a breeze to paint with rattle cans, and after that you're just a wash away from being finished

The terrain is also a great place to begin learning new skills, so I took a stab at airbrushing in some object source lighting, which is, painting in the reflection of light sources as they naturally reflect off of the surrounding surfaces. I also painted some funny in-fiction propaganda posters that I've been keeping for years. This would look quite similar to the included double-sided battle mat.

The ability to paint and modify extends to the miniatures in this kit as well. Both the Imperial Navy Breachers and the Kroot Farstalker Kinband have a slew of poses and weapons, and they are extremely easy to paint, and are a great starting point for any newcomers to the hobby.

The included paperback sourcebook names several obscure races, like the Fraal and the Khrave, but there are also entirely new entities, the Larvae of Silica and the Eclosions of the Metal, which are both described as artificial species granted intelligence by their now-extinct creators. All four races are said to have built settlements and waged wars across the Gallowdark for millennia.

The new features in the sourcebook are lore gifts to hobbyists and kitbashers, just like the legendary lost primarchs and original Space Marine authors. These are huge gaps in the larger universe that dedicated fans may fill in with their own creations.

Outside of the units and bonuses, there aren't any significant changes to the general gameplay in Into the Dark. That's a good thing, in my opinion, as the core rules themselves are excellent. However, there are plenty of new rules regarding the confined environment of the Gallowdark, which also grant some extra power to explosives and area-of-effect weapons.

Kill Team is a small-unit skirmish game that uses multi-level terrain to encourage players to maneuver their troops off the beaten path. Into the Dark is explicit two-dimensional, so much so that climbing up and over the walls is literally against the rules.

That makes Into the Dark the most disastrous game ever, in the form of Pariah Nexus. But, this time around, the rules for terrain were primarily designed for the factions that were in the specific box, and I can easily see any faction doing well in the Gallowdark; they just need to, among other things, keep their long-range snipers at home.

Into the Dark is just the first of three major quarterly Kill Team expansions. The roadmap, released on August 25, includes names like Shadowvaults, Soulshackle, and Gallowfall, and expect the terrain in those kits to be fully compatible across the whole Kill Team line, and perhaps even beyond.

This Kill Team release is a must-have for anyone who loves terrain and has purchased the Horus Heresy boxed set before. It's also a must-have for all newcomers to the game.

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